- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 4, 2006

‘Still don’t get it’

“As moviegoers began to see trailers for the new movie ‘United 93’ in theaters a few weeks ago, audience members cried ‘too soon’ — some of them literally crying, as if victimized by a mere movie trailer. Why? Because nearly five years later they still don’t get it. We still don’t get it.

“Americans who are ‘shocked’ by moviemakers dramatizing the heroism of passengers on the airplane that went down in Shanksville, Pa., on the morning of September 11, 2001, are as asleep as legislators who aren’t serious about protecting our borders, diplomats who want to make nice with the terrorists who run Iran and oppress its people, and those who would have left Saddam Hussein in power. We’re a nation that should be shocked when reporters reveal classified national-security strategy, but award them Pulitzers instead of condemning their irresponsibility.

“We can delude ourselves that we aren’t at war, that nothing changed on September 11, and we’re not as vulnerable as innocent Israelis who know that every bus they get on or pizza place they grab a slice at could be a suicide bomber’s next target.

” ‘United 93’ and efforts like it remind us of what happened that day, of the kind of people we are, and of the war we’re in.”

Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing on “Too Soon?” Wednesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Bad message

“I’ve come to believe that the Pulitzers for all the celebrity, the champagne, the career-capping glory they bring are bad for the profession. They purport to stand for excellence in journalism, but if they do, it’s in the same way that Rolls Royce stands for excellence in car-making. And that’s the problem.

“The Pulitzers are big, clunky trophies for the rich. They honor lavish work that has no bearing on the reasonable strivings of most journalists. … They amplify a structure of dominance within the profession that sneers at the work of most newsrooms, and every year they send out the same, deeply wrong-headed message: that great journalism is primarily national and international in scope, and is practiced mainly by the country’s wealthiest news organizations. …

“Right now, the message to young reporters is that if they’re serious about winning a Pulitzer, they should get hired by the New York Times. The Pulitzers should reward choice, sacrifice, perseverance and service, not just marquee impact, and they should honor the accomplishments of those who struggle not just with sources and critics but with the limitations, the scarcity and the clamor of their own under-funded newsrooms.”

Edward Wasserman, writing on “Prizes are trophies for rich papers,” Monday for the Miami Herald

Tuition gouging

“Liberals think hardworking taxpayers who can’t afford gas should pay more in taxes because it is vitally important that young people be taught that America is the worst country on Earth and that the American bond traders who were murdered on 9/11 deserved it.

“Maybe with a little less subsidized tuition, colleges couldn’t afford luxuries like … professor Ward Churchill. He makes $120,000 a year … at the University of Colorado, in addition to many speaking fees paid to him by other institutions of higher learning — all heavily subsidized by taxpayers. …

“How about Congress having weekly hearings on the price of college and the salaries of professors like Churchill?”

Ann Coulter, writing on “Tuition soars due to knowledge shortfall,” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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